Marketing no longer needs the language of warfare

TargetsI’ve noticed that the language of marketing is similar to the language of warfare. I wonder if this helps reinforce some negative psychology. In 1954 Churchill said (something like) “better to Jaw-Jaw than War-War”. I think this might help remind us that the old military paradigms are increasingly irrelevant.

Terms like  “Campaign“, “Target” and the rather frightening  “mail-shot“.  I’m the aggressor, and you are the victim. Unless you have your bulletproof vest (spam filter) on, then you are at my mercy.

These terms are, of course , ingrained in our psyche to some extent, but I wonder whether the conscious use of other, more helpful, phrases might work in a world where organisations are no longer able to control the message, and where adult-adult dialogue is a more relevant template for customer interactions than parent-child monologue. Try using these phrases when discussing your next marketing initiatives:

  • Conversation Plan  (not Campaign)
  • Community  (not Target Market)
  • Invitation (not E-SHOT)

The best conversations are, perhaps, a little like the best love-making. Not one-way, but mutual and voluntary.Megaphone Crossed Out